Lady of Mercy, Our

Lady Of Mercy, Our.

a Spanish order of knighthood, instituted in 1218 by James I of Aragon, in fulfilment of a vow made to the Virgin, during his captivity in France, for the redemption of Christian captives from among the Moors; and to this end each knight, at his inauguration, was obliged to take the vow that, if necessary for their ransom, he would remain himself a captive in their stead. Within the first six years of the existence of the order no fewer than 400 captives are said to have been ransomed by its efforts. On the expulsion of the Moors from Spain the labors of the knights were transferred to Africa. Their badge is a shield party per fess gules and or, in chief a cross pattee argent, in base four pallets gules for Aragon, the shield crowned with a ducal coronet. The order was extended to ladies in 1261.

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